Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ann Patchett writes about trying to join the Los Angeles Police Department

WP:

I was 30 years old, a semi-ancient age for pursuing police work. I had no idea if I could pass the long string of entrance exams.

"The wall is what keeps women out," my father told me. "The women protest; they say it's unfair, especially the short ones. The first thing you have to worry about is getting over the wall."

...

When it was my turn, the crowd went wild. I was the mascot now, the favorite girl. No sense in cheering for the two who'd never pass or the one who might beat your score. Cheer for the one who barely makes her time but somehow, miraculously, manages. I yanked the weight backward as the giant men began to chant my name, dragging one syllable into two until it became "Ay-un, Ay-un, Ay-un." It would never happen again; 26 broad-shouldered young men would never call my name at once